Our thinking is only as broad as the exposure we receive- well for the most of us. How absolutely amazing it is to be lucky enough to acquire an education, to study, learn and simply do as we please. But for a huge majority of the society we breathe in, such a liberty is affordable.
This is where social programs come in action. Volunteering in social activities, sponsoring a social work program, raising funds and charities or simply helping out the under privileged in any way are much needed phenomena. I recently had the chance to participate in such an activity- that being teaching, under the Society for International Education.
Together with Karachi Youth Initiative (KYI), Society for International Education (SIE- running IEARN in Pakistan) is successfully leading an Education and Community Cohesion Program (ECCP) which is focusing on the under privileged individuals residing in Sultanabad and Hijrat Colony in Karachi. How ironic that the areas fall very near- almost at the back of a luxury hotel. You would step in the narrow and dingy streets and probably vow never to encounter them again unless for a solid reason. But SIE has provided energetic individuals the very solid reason, which is to teach persons from ages 15-30, some essential courses under the ECCP for a few set weeks. The program has aimed to develop a positive change and awareness in these groups as there can be seen a lot of shortcomings when it comes to educational quality in these areas.
I took on the course of Creative Writing and Arts under the program in a school at Hijrat Colony. For the past five weeks there has been nothing but mixed emotions in my head as I took on the task of improving creative writing and expressive arts in these individuals. Believe me, there is nothing that would tell you about the creativity hidden in these kids unless you actually step in and explore it out for yourself. There is a strange psychology at work as you discuss identity, art forms, creative expressions and life goals in these small classrooms which hold a vast amount of latent energy.
Perhaps the biggest motivation for any individual- me being one- was the fact that these students (who are taking afternoon classes in schools and areas where education is not excellently promoted), attend the sessions regularly and I have been given the chance to make use of my learning which like many of us has been acquired from top institutions. The biggest fact remains that these students have limited opportunities to afford instructors or institutions which would provide them with quality education and we as qualified individuals must take part in such programs or activities which help out the under privileged in some way or another.
The ECCP offers three subjects including English Language and Computer Training along with the Creative Writing and Expressions through Arts course. Community projects are a mandatory part of each course. In the limited hours of each class, I believe if even a smallest quote can positively affect the life of another person, then a lot of difference has been made.